Saturday 26 May 2018

Treviso will pose a 'dangerous threat' in Pro12 opener - Cullen

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Leo Cullen has warned that Treviso pose a 'dangerous threat' in Leinster's Pro12 opener at the RDS this evening.

Treviso have appointed former Canada coach Kieran Crowley as their new boss and, as well as that, Cullen is mindful of the experience that Conor O'Shea has brought to the country since he was signed as Italy coach.

Leinster have only ever lost to Treviso once in 12 league meetings but Cullen is anticipating a tough clash.

"They had two good wins in pre-season and played (Leicester) Tigers as well," Cullen said.

"They were a very tough, physical team last year. They are very strong set-piece wise.

"They pushed Connacht around the place in that second-last game. We struggled with them here as well. We scored some tries early on but you could see that if you knock off at all … they came back into the game and scored three tries themselves that day.

"They are a dangerous team with a lot of threats. Kieran Crowley has come in as coach and that is a different level of experience. Conor O'Shea's influence as well.

"You can see clearly that he is trying to strengthen the two teams so he has better quality to choose from. A lot of Italian players have moved back to the two teams in Italy as well so that will strengthen them as well."

Despite a host of injury problems, Cullen does not have the player drain from the World Cup to worry about for the start of this season.

"Last year, there were challenges with the World Cup and guys not being part of that planning process from an early stage," he added.

"We will look to keep the ball alive as much as we possibly can and look to play because that is an important part of what Leinster is about."

Irish Independent

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